The latest PISA results and Canada is once again ranked among the very best in the world. Only Singapore and Estonia, along with some carefully selected wealthy cities in China, are doing better. That, of course, won't stop the usual suspects from saying Canada's system is in crisis and ought to become more like the U.S. system (by which they mean, of course, profitable).
While my website was down for the count earlier this week I looked for alternative hosting for my presentation audio. This is actually a good and fairly detailed article listing a number of podcast providers (including a number of 'free' services (that aren't really free, but have a very basic free tier)). What I like is that it makes very clear what services these sites offer, and it explains how podcast hosting and distribution networks (like iTunes or Spotify) are related. This latter is what I'm missing with my self-hosted podcasts; maybe there's some open source software out there I can use to distribute my audio. Something to look into.
In 2002 or so I made my way into Industry Canada offices to speak to some directors about content syndication. I had just sprained my ankle on an Ottawa city sidewalk and was in a lot of pain as I outlined an idea whereby organizations would manage their own online information using a series of RSS files. The idea would be that they managed their on information online, and simply referenced these files any time they submitted a form or interacted with a government agency. I also proposed a similar plan for people. So there would be a series of formats: RSO (Really Simple Organziations), RSP (Really Simple People), and so on. I actually created an aggregator that could handle these different RSS formats. But they idea never took off, and so we never had distributed self-identification. Pity. Anyhow, this article describes “Research Organization Registry (ROR) - a community-led project to develop an open, sustainable, usable, and unique identifier for every research organization in the world." I still prefer my system, but maybe this will evolve into that.
Long-time readers will know that this has been a perennial theme here at OLDaily. Using blog posts, Medium articles, YouTube videos, MOOCs and online learning communities, people have been educating themselves online, and it has been reported (and encouraged) here. This article cites Dian Schaffhauser, who writes that "a do-it-yourself mindset is changing the face of education worldwide, according to new survey results." Ray Schroeder also says "one of the first to leverage the power of the internet for learning was Salman Khan," which is surely not true, as he started only in 2008.
But what is true, and has been true for a long time, is this: "Perhaps we have not been losing learners in the U.S. at all. In fact, there may be millions more postsecondary learners in the U.S. than ever before; they are simply not enrolling directly in colleges and universities, but instead choosing to DIY via MOOCs and other online, nondegree modes." This is where we have been working for decades.
The answer to this question, it seems to me, is right here: "certifications are offered by associations or industry groups, based on a standardized exam that measures a person’s knowledge of relevant job skills. Also, as Swift noted, they’re valid for only a limited time period, can be revoked for incompetency or ethical lapses, and are not awarded by the same organizations that provided the education or training." All of that is the opposite of most university degrees, and if combined, would eventually render the degree part of the program moot. That said, it seems to me that I have seem certifications offered inside of programs, though as I recall they were (technical and trade) college programs.
We were just reading Phil Hill a week and a half ago saying that Instructure might be open to being sold. Now comes the news that they've agreed to be acquired by the private equity (PE) firm Thoma Bravo. Now we're waiting for the other shoe to drop: "people might become concerned about Instructure becoming just another company that values corporate profits over... well, everything."
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